TAMPA — No Marshall Holmes. No Justin Gray. No Chris McWilliams. No problem.
Shorthanded Berkeley Prep used a big third quarter and had four players in double digits to defeat district rival Tampa Catholic 73-67 Tuesday night.
“This is a very big district game we’ve been looking forward to,” Bucs coach Bobby Reinhart said. “Obviously missing three big guys like that is huge, but we had guys step up. I’m very proud of them.”
Holmes (broken thumb) and McWilliams (hamstring) have been on the shelf since November. But Gray, one of Hillsborough County’s top players, left Saturday’s loss to Lake Highland Prep with concussion-like symptoms.
Gray could be cleared to play for Saturday’s Headmaster Challenge, and Reinhart said he hopes to have all three ready by the upcoming district tournament.
“In an ideal world they’re all back by the postseason when it really matters,” Reinhart said.
As for Tuesday, Berkeley Prep (15-1) got 22 points from Craig Bowman and 14 apiece from Jacob Mathis and N’Namdi Green while Eric Reintgen chipped in with 11.
“A lot of people thought with our starters being out it would affect us,” Green said. “In my opinion, this was our best game of the year as a team.”
Berkeley Prep broke open a tight game with a 19-4 run to start the second half. The Bucs hit five 3s in the first four minutes of the quarter, including a trio from Reintgen.
“That was interesting because that’s not necessarily our strength,” Reinhart said. “But we got some good inside-out offense.”
Back-to-back 3s in the final minute from Tampa Catholic’s (12-6) Chivarsky Corbett cut the Bucs’ lead to 70-67, but Berkeley Prep held on to get back into the win column after suffering its first loss of the season to Lake Highland. After starting off 10-1, the Crusaders have lost five of their past seven.
Corbett’s 22 points led all scorers while teammate Thomas Dziagwa added 16. Green grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, and Corbett finished with three blocks.